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Reading, Writing and Being Generally Awesome

I have no idea what I'm doing.
Shadow and Bone - Leigh Bardugo, Leigh Bardugo As seen on Ed and Em's Reviews!I've come to find when you really, really love a book, it's hard to write a review for it. It's hard to do that book justice. Shadow and Bone is one of those book for me. I have had this document, with a half-finished review, sitting in my "Reviews to Finish" folder for months. I finally decided to finish it after having a huge book talk about it with a good friend of mine. And here it is:All I heard about from the beginning of this year until months after its release was how amazing Shadow and Bone was. Any time I logged on to Goodreads or Twitter, someone was chatting about the book and how much they loved it. They were saying things like, "This book is so good. You'll love it because it's awesome and perfect and has sexy men in it." (And really… Those are some damn sexy men, guys.) So I bought it for my kindle, sat down and started the adventure. And boy, is it one adventure that I won't soon forget!Alina Starkov and her childhood friend, Mal, are a part of the Ravka's army. Ravka is a torn country, literally split in two by the darkness that lies in the Shadow Fold, a place where the most dangerous monsters lurk, ready to kill. After a brutal attack that kills many of her comrades and severely injures Mal, Alina releases a power that no one, including Alina herself, had any idea that she held. It is a power that could save the world and bring it back into the light. Of course, it's not that easy. With enemies and liars left and right in the new world of the royal court, Alina must trust herself to find how to save the world, so she won't be used to destroy it.Alina wasn't always the easiest character to read about, only because I didn't always agree with her decisions and I wanted to snap her out of her constant confusion. She took her sweet time figuring everything out. I loved the Darkling. He was my favorite character and probably will remain my favorite character until the very end. He's just so hot and powerful and… dark. (You see what I did there?) All of the characters in Shadow and Bone only added to the story. There was no character that seemed misplaced. Leigh made sure that everyone had a purpose and I cannot wait to see all of them, and the new ones, in book two. Can it please be released sooner?!The world the Leigh creates in Shadow and Bone was absolutely beautiful. Even months after finishing it, when I close my eyes, I still can see the setting, the people, and the gorgeous land. Everything about Ravka is so vivid. I wish I lived in that land. Ya know… Without the constant death and evildoers… I've always had a fascination with Russian history, so as I read I was absolutely captivated by the details and background that Ravka shared with Russia. It made me love the story all the more.The writing is absolutely addictive. I had to slow myself down so that I could take the time, process everything and really enjoy it. If I had read at the pace I started at, I would've finished in mere hours because its ridiculous hard to put down. Leigh has seriously beautiful storytelling skills. I can't wait to see what she does, not only with the rest of the Grisha series, but afterwards as well. She writes wonderfully and I hope she continues. I want to see her write more fantasy, because I haven't read a fantasy novel this brilliant in so long. She's excellent at creating a new world, a new culture and characters that you truly want to succeed and win.Everything about this book was just extraordinary. It was suspenseful and you never really knew what was going to happen. It was great to finally read a seriously shocking surprise. The plot twist? Did not see that coming. At all. In fact, that is probably the last thing I would've come thought to happen. And can we just talk about how heartbroken I am over it? I still curse Leigh's name whenever I think about it. …Freaking Leigh… She's lucky that she is so personable. Or she would've had to face my wrath when I met her during the Fierce Reads fall tour. See a recap HERE. She's a awesomely nice person, with a great writing technique and a phenomenal story. Obviously, to write an awesome book, you, yourself, must be awesome.I am so looking forward to the next book! Hopefully, Leigh won't destroy my soul again, but really… Who knows with her.